Here’s Who Else Wanted Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Dazed and Confused’ Role

by Josh Lanier

It’s the role that made Matthew McConaughey Matthew McConaughey. His turn as David Wooderson in Dazed and Confused created an icon. It was a high point for his career, but not landing the role was a low point for another Hollywood power player.

Taylor Sheridan auditioned to play the laidback high-school lothario. He’d hoped it would boost his then floundering acting career. Sheridan had bounced around Hollywood with little luck at that point, Deadline said in a recent profile. But that failed audition did have its upsides. Sure, Sheridan didn’t land the role of Wooderson, but he met Cole Hauser during the audition. Hauser scored the role of Benny in Dazed and Confused. Sheridan realized his potential, too. He hired Hauser to play Rip Wheeler on Yellowstone more than two decades later.

Taylor Sheridan spent another 15 years in Hollywood before he found fame. He eventually ended up on Sons of Anarchy as Deputy Chief David Hale in 2008. But while he was trying to find acting work, Sheridan was hard at work on scripts. That turned out to be time well spent as he is now one of the most successful writers in the business right now.

Taylor Sheridan Created New Sylvester Stallone Show in 45 Minutes

Taylor Sheridan, the maestro behind Yellowstone and its many spinoffs, is one of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood at the moment. With good reason. He’s been on a can’t-miss streak since 2015’s Sicario. He churns out scripts with the speed of Usain Bolt trying to catch a bus. But at this point, he’s just showing off.

David Glasser, who’s a producer on Sheridan’s 1883, told Deadline that Taylor Sheridan created the concept for the upcoming Sylvester Stallone series Kansas City in 45 minutes. He wrote the pilot in a weekend.

Glasser said he called Sheridan with a simple idea: What about Stallone in a mob show?

“Then, on the spot, he proceeds to spend 45 minutes pitching me a story that he just created in his head,” Glasser recalled. “This is Friday at 3 p.m. It is a great story, and nothing is written down. By Sunday afternoon, he handed me the pilot. I couldn’t believe it.”

Moreover, Taylor Sheridan got Sylvester Stallone to sign onto the project before he’d finished the script.

“This is how it happens with him,” Glasser said. “He just picks up the phone and calls people like Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Hanks, Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and says, hey, I’ve got this idea. I call to do the deal with the agent afterward.”

In Kansas City, Stallone plays a loyal gangster who is ready to take on a leadership role in what he hopes is a major territory in New York. His mob bosses send him to Kansas City instead. It’s the perfect backdrop for the violence and high-concept drama Sheridan is known for.